Former deputy convicted of sexual assault charges

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Shane Widner will serve 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to crimes involving a girl younger than 13



INDEPENDENCE — A former deputy sheriff pleaded guilty to several sex charges last Friday in Grayson County Circuit Court.
Shane Allan Widner, 34, of Independence, was sentenced to 50 years in prison by Judge Brett Geisler, with 30 years of the sentence suspended. He will also be credited with the time he has already served in the New River Valley Regional Jail.
After serving his active sentence, he will be placed on 50 years of supervised probation.
Geisler also ordered Widner to pay restitution of $5,422.35 to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund and an additional $1,400 to an individual.
He must also register as a sex offender.
Widner worked out a plea agreement with the court in which he pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of animate object penetration, one count of attempted animate object penetration and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
The crimes involved a female younger than 13 years old.
Widner was a sergeant for the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department before he was terminated.
The Grayson County Sheriff’s office referred the case to the Virginia State Police after receiving an allegation of sexual misconduct against Widner in January 2010. The case was jointly investigated by the state police and Child Protective Services.
Widner was represented by Grayson County attorney Jonathon Venzie.
Brad Finch, commonwealth’s attorney for Montgomery County, was appointed as special prosecutor and handled prosecution of the case.